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Who Should Start In Bolton Wanderers' First Game Against Sheffield United?

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Wanderers take on The Blades at 3pm on Saturday 6th August, but who should start the first game of the season? Jonny takes a closer look.

Who'll make the cut in Phil Parkinson's first competitive game in charge?
Who'll make the cut in Phil Parkinson's first competitive game in charge?
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

In exactly one month's time we'll all be very excited. Our transfer embargo will have been officially lifted, our financial troubles will be firmly behind us and the season will have started, where we'll beat Sheffield United 18-0 in our first game.

What's that? You're a pessimist that thinks it's still all doom and gloom around our beloved Bolton Wanderers? Well, you're probably right. I don't trust Ken Anderson & Co. as far as I could throw them, especially because Ken himself is clearly a living waxwork, so what if they fuck up our club even further and fail to have the embargo lifted? Then we're all buggered.

So, in the event of the worst happening and us not signing anyone else (or losing any players), I've taken a look at the team that's likely to walk out at the Macron on August 6th.

Formation: 4-1-3-2

Based on friend of the site and Bradford fan Nikil Vekaria's piece on Phil Parkinson, we can expect a very tight defensive ship. I'm expecting a flat back line with a holding midfielder, then three in front with a target man up top and a number 10 playing off him "between the lines", but we'll get onto that in a minute.

Goalkeeper: Ben Amos

Obvious. We can't shift him because he's contracted 'til something ridiculous like 2086, plus his wages are sky high. No club that would want to sign him can afford him, and judging by the form he showed towards the back end of last season, why would anyone want to? Let's hope Parky can get Amos back to his best by creating a solid defensive unit in front of him.

Left Back: Dean Moxey

Not many people I know are fans of Moxey but I think he's decent and will be even more so in League One. His left foot is good and he gets forward well. I hate to keep banging the same drum so early on in this article, but if Parky's reputation is anything to go by, Moxey should shine next season because he certainly has the ability.

Centre Half: Mark Beevers

Goes without saying, doesn't it? Manager that's renowned for having a solid defensive team signs a proven lower league defender who's also renowned for being solid = recipe for success. He's also left-footed so will be playing next to Deano 2.0. He should be able to dish a few bollockings out to Moxey when he inevitably fucks something up. According to friend of the site Mark Litchfield, who wrote this cracking piece on Wanderers' latest signing, Beevers is more than capable of playing at League One level so he should also be a pretty regular starter.

Centre Half: Rob Holding

CROSS YOUR FINGERS AND TOES AND EVERYTHING ELSE POSSIBLE. Hopefully Wanderers' 2015/16 Player of the Year will be at the club for another season and maybe for many more years to come. He's had a good summer; representing England U21s in the Toulon Tournament, which is no mean feat. If we can hold onto him, we're as good as promoted. (JOKING)

Right Back: Lawrie Wilson

Is there anyone else? I know that LOV's very own DownTheMannyRd Tom will be delighted to see Lawrie's luscious locks regularly bouncing down the right-hand touchline, but I'm not sure I agree. After the release of Niall Maher back in May and the sale of Tyler Garratt to League Two Doncaster Rovers last week, I'm really not sure who else has enough experience to play there, other than Josh Vela. We'll stick with Lawrie for now, though, as he's played at this level before.

Defensive Midfield: Derik Osede

What's not to like about this gorgeous man? One of the very few success stories from the Jimmy Phillips & Peter Reid era, all it takes is for PP to watch a couple of games from the back end of last season to see just how good Derik was at shielding the back four. For me, he has to play there for the entirety of next season, no matter what.

Right Midfield: Chris Taylor

Similar to the Beev, Taylor has been signed by our new gaffer so there's no reason not to play him unless he's not fit. I don't know much about him but he's certainly been around the block so you'd like to think he knows what's required to win games at this level. He's also best mates with Beevers, so they'll get along quite nicely. How cute.

Central Midfield: Jay Spearing

This was a tough choice but I think Spud Head is the correct one. Josh Vela is good, don't get me wrong, but he's still young and has been shifted around a lot over the last couple of seasons. He could also be playing at right back, let's not forget. To the best of my knowledge we can play Spearing as the stupid clause in his contract that requires us to pay Liverpool £100,000 when he makes his next appearance only applies to the Premier League and the Championship. I think he's more experienced and will do a better job in the middle of the park.

Left Midfield: Josh Vela

Yes, I know he's not left footed and yes, I know this isn't necessarily his best position but at the time of writing we have no one else with enough first team experience to play in that role. For me, Vela needs to play. The majority of our fanbase like him and people almost have mental breakdowns when there's any suggestion of him leaving the club, so he should start in some capacity.

Up Top: Zach Clough/Kaiyne Woolery

I can't decide between these two. Clough is obviously a good player but was, for me, way off the pace for the majority of last season. Woolery is a different type of attacker who I think could do serious damage in League One - his pace and strength make him a more attractive prospect for me. Whichever of these two gets the green light will have to impress in the first game of the new season if they stand any chance of securing a regular place; there's plenty for Parky to choose from in their positions.

Also Up Top: Jamie Proctor

The 24-year-old former Bradford City loanee has literally (no, seriously, read this) just signed for the club and knows PP well after spending the latter half of last season in Yorkshire. He's a 6"2 powerhouse that's often played as a target man, so Gary Madine, if you're reading this, make sure you've got a warm coat for the bench, mate. I'm told he's the type of guy that will, and I quote, "run through brick walls for the cause", which, to me, sounds like he's a workhorse. He's certainly on my ticket.

Players to miss out are the obvious ones - Darren Pratley (he's off to QPR so fuck him anyway), Gary Madine and Max Clayton, to name a few. Tom Walker will also feel hard done by but I don't think he's quite ready to cut the mustard in our first team just yet. Dorian Devite is a shitbag so he's not going anywhere near the pitch and I think Mark Davies deserves to be dropped and knocked down a peg or two; let the lads who've shown they're committed to the club get on with it, you can find yourself another club, pal. I forgot Liam Trotter even existed so he doesn't get a look in, and judging by his involvement in last Saturday's friendly vs Atherton Collieries, Alex Samizadeh isn't ready for first team football yet.

So, ladies and gents, there we have it. What are your thoughts on my team selection? Have I missed anyone out? Let me know in the comments below.